London's best cupcakes

Here's our guide to the bakeries, cafés, tea rooms and coffee shops baking London's best cupcakes

The combination of sweet icing and fluffy sponge in an irresistibly cute package is our tea-time treat of choice. Delve into our delectable guide to London's best cupcake shops and cafés.

Bake-a-boo

Proudly kitsch tea room and ‘party parlour’ serving dainty cakes, biscuits, and fizz. Gluten-free options and hen party packages are available

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London

Bea's of Bloomsbury

Bea’s of Bloomsbury is a mini-chain of cafés, with branches in Watling Street near St Paul's and Cowcross Street in Farringdon. But this original in Bloomsbury is the best, not least because it’s the source of all those spectacular gateaux and special occasion cakes – the busy, and sometimes noisy, kitchen and bakery occupies the rear half of the long and narrow space. Choose your seat in the long corridor facing the counter carefully, as the tables nearest the front bear the brunt of the constant bustle of takeaway customers; further back the room’s only slightly cosier. 

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Holborn

Hummingbird Bakery

The Soho branch of this successful mini-chain is a busy spot; there are also branches in Notting Hill, South Ken, Spitalfields and Islington. Most customers come here for the colourful frosted cupcakes, which are displayed in long glass cabinets, alongside whoopee pies, tiered American cakes and varieties of brownies. Raspberry cheesecake brownie has to be the most indulgent version – a dense chocolate brownie base topped with a baked cream cheese layer and finished off with whipped raspberry cream – delicious.

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Soho

Violet Cakes

Cupcakes have been popping up all over since Carrie and the girls Manolo-ed their way into Magnolia Bakery, NYC. For a few years, and in ever-growing numbers, Londoners don’t seem to be able to get enough of these little bites of nostalgia. The proprietor of Violet Cakes, Claire Ptak, worked for three years as a pastry cook for Alice Waters at Chez Panisse, the restaurant largely credited as the most influential in the Californian gastronomy movement.

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Dalston
See our guide to London's best cafés and coffee shops

Comments

113 comments
James G
James G

This is surely one of the most inaccurate and poorly researched articles I have seen in Time Out. There are companies that are working incredibly hard to create a genuinely brilliant product, and to have some half baked (yup I did it) PR backed stunt knock them back in favor of mass produced, dull and fault filled cakes, is very disappointing.  I know that companies mentioned here have questionable practices when producing cakes that compromise their quality. Recent buy-outs have led to falls in standards and corner cutting is very obvious when making such a delicate product. Other companies, not featured here, produce cakes without freezing the sponges after mass production runs, use very high quality ingredients and have an excellent brand to boot. Also,  this is clearly just a re-print (again lazy) as comments left are from 2013 when the article above says printed in 2015...

Kimberly S
Kimberly S

Crumbs & Doilies cupcakes, coffee, and cakes are wonderful and not too sweet.  Jemma, the owner, has 250,000 following her on YouTube, where she makes it look easy to make different flavours and seasonal cupcakes with great artistry, such as ghosts and bandaged mummies for Halloween.  Their lovely new shop is near Carnaby Street: 1 Kingley Court, W1B 5PW. 

Andy
Andy

It's surprising that Hummingbird made the list. To say they're on the sweeter side is an understatement. They make me gag they're so sweet. They use to be my favourite until I found the Kooky Bakes ones at Selfridges. Oh my gosh! Seriously these cakes are the best. I swear to god they do the best red velvet ever!!

Matthew Warren
Matthew Warren

The National Cupcake Champions last year were Upsy Daisy Bakery from Stamford Brook, Hammersmith, West London and they are AMAZING!!! The Mojito cupcake is incredible and they do a great range of traditional English breakfast, brunch & lunch dishes freshly made to order. A beautiful place & a cracking cup of coffee too!!! Happy :)

Nausher A
Nausher A

Hummingbird should be higher on the list

Debbie Edwards
Debbie Edwards

After reading great reviews about Wraggamuffins I decided to try them for myself when I threw a birthday dinner party. These cupcakes are INSANE! Seriously, I've had good cupcakes here in London but these have this little something extra. Sponge, icing, customer service, everything was top notch! They're getting amazing reviews for a reason :-) One place I would steer clear of is Hummingbird, their cupcakes are dry and tasteless.

Sally Ann
Sally Ann

Read all the reviews and then picked the ones that seemed to get the best reviews for the sponge .. We ordered from Flavourtown and ladies let me say OMG. Thanks for the helpful reviews guys this is some amazing cake

Nicki Calandro
Nicki Calandro

@Ella G thanks for recommending Wraggamuffins. I ordered from them for my birthday and everyone was totally blown away! The cupcake sponge was so moist, and the fillings gorgeous! Honestly, we couldn't quite get over how much flavour they had, you can tell they're handmade and a lot of effort goes into to them. By far the best I've had, EVER! And I'm a New Yorker!

carla freitas
carla freitas

Good afternoon; I've been through this e-mail, show my work with custom cupcakes. I would like an opportunity to be part of the group of employees this company so renowned. I am a responsible person, always cherish the organization and efficiency in activities that performance. I place myself at your disposal for any request to contact and interview. The following means of contact below. email: kakau.freitas84 @ gmail.com phone: (44) 01372436253 Sincerely, Carla Freitas

London Cupcakes
London Cupcakes

Some tasty little numbers here but still very surprised that there was no measure of what makes these cupcake producers the best. People tend to look at hell of lot of variables when ordering cupcakes (price, quantity, type of cake, vegan, fairtrade, etc.) so the notion of the best seems a little misplaced.

Joanna
Joanna

These reviews are brilliant! I read them all and ordered my husbands 40th cupcakes from Flavourtown. . They do this thing based on a Reeses peanutbutter cup and I think my husband loves those cakes more than me. They call them gourmet cupcakes and now I see why. Outstanding

Veronica
Veronica

I thought I was starting to go off cupcakes until I found this stall in soho market called Molly Bakes. So much better than any other poor excuses for cakes I have tried in this city. Sponge was moist flavoursome not too sweet. Buttercream was pure heaven thick and creamy not grainy and cloying. I've been sending everyone in my office to try them. Some of the guys are hooked on their brownies too.

Beth
Beth

All of the reviews of Flavourtown Bakery here are true. We ordered cupcakes for my little girls birthday with one-off decorations and they were gorgeous. . Like little works of art AND they tasted even better. Someone on here said something about their frosting and OMG they were right.

Anne
Anne

Hello my name is Anne from Hungary. I would like to learn how to make cupcakes, but I don't know which bakery to choose, anybody can help me to choose the best workshop ( in London)???. I'm looking for the best in this job because I really want to learn from the best . Thank You.

Nadia
Nadia

Sophie .. Thank you so much for pointing me towards Flavourtown bakery. We order a few dozen for my daughters birthday last week and these are hands down the most amazing moist cakes I've ever had. If you get the chance check these guys out because the stuff they make is amazing. Friendly as well.

Melly S
Melly S

Wraggamuffins did my wedding cupcakes last year, they were absolutely divine! If I'm ordering lots then I'll get them from there, however if I want just one quick cupcake then it has to be Lola's cupcakes in Mayfair. Both are amazing!

Ilana
Ilana

Had the most incredible chocolate chip cookie dough and a red velvet by Kooky Bakes from Selfridges.

Sophie
Sophie

I have to say Flavourtown Bakery as well. I've had Red Velvet so many times but nothing is as soft and moist as theirs and OMG that frosting! These guys are at Spitalfields market on Saturday's and me and my besties go there at least twice a month.. I think you can order for delivery as well. Seriously blow the rest out of the water.. I want their frosting recipe YUM

Ella G.
Ella G.

By far the best around are Wraggamuffins! No question! I love cupcakes and they do the most amazing fluffy buttercream and the cakes have fillings inside them. GORGEOUS! I also like the Cat and the Cream, again they're amazing, especially as they're vegan, dairy free, gluten free... fab!

Julia
Julia

Milly and Grace bake the most delicious cupcakes and cakes you will ever taste! Beautifully decorated and as light as air. Made to order with organic butter and free range eggs, they can be boxed and delivered fresh to your door...or you can arrange to pick them up . With cupcakes for all occasions they are fast becoming the No 1 favourite with young mothers in London. And they deliver Nationwide too. Yummy! millyandgrace.co.uk

Mario
Mario

Tried to find some of these in the directory at London Cupcakes. Does Timeout referesh this list?

Paula
Paula

We ordered a birthday cake and cupcakes from Flavourtown Bakery... A Mazing! The best choccy cake and frosting I've ever had and the Red Velvet cupcakes were to die for. These his don't have a shop but bake to order I think.

Natalia
Natalia

I would recommend "The Outsider Tart" - an absolute gem! They have a stall at the southbank/royal festival hall at the weekends.. ...check it out :)

Renee
Renee

Kooky Bakes at Bricklane Markets is the BEST!!! He also does amazing whoopie pies. All amazing and quirky flavours.

Cake Fanatic!
Cake Fanatic!

She's back in April I believe, although I'm not sure that she's officially announced that yet. Whoops! Ha ha. I'm so excited I'm going to get to eat a Wraggamuffins cupcake again, especially as my birthday is in May so it's perfect timing! She did my birthday cupcakes last year and they were so delicious. We even had strangers who weren't part of my party coming up and nabbing them! For anyone who hasn't tried one yet you have to check them out, they're fantastic.

Ian
Ian

Oh my god, Wraggamuffins! YES! I found out this week that she's coming back too. I loved the peanut butter truffles she did, I know this is a thread about cake, but those were amazing. Does anyone know when she's reopening?

Lucy
Lucy

I was in Balham this week and had a some fantastic cupcakes at Bertie & Boo cafe. Great flavours ( rose, lavender, Apple, Chocolate & Orange among others ). Nice friendly staff on the high street.

Jo D
Jo D

Tried Hummingbird again this week as it was a colleague's birthday - they have gone really downhill. I remember when I first tried them about 5 years ago they were good, it seems once these cupcake places get big they forget to add any flavour to their cakes. The cakes were dry, the frosting was too sweet and had no vanilla, the chocolate sponge did not taste of anything (certainly not chocolate), the carrot cake was bland and dry, the vanilla cake was like cardboard. Total waste of money.

Cake Fanatic!
Cake Fanatic!

I was addicted to Wraggamuffins before she moved to the US, but I hear through Facebook that she's moving back next year (yay!). Her cupcakes were amazing because they weren't too sweet like most of the others, and you could actually taste the flavour without feeling like you've just had a mouthful of sugar. She did others bits and pieces too, so I'm really happy she's coming back.

Tonia
Tonia

I have to say I have tried many cupcakes in London and most have disappointed especially from the big bakeries such as Lolas, Hummingbird, Ella's et al. There's too many cupcakes now and most of them are not very good. I did quite like Cat & the Cream when I tried theirs and Violets is also good. I recently came across a stall called Molly Bakes near Broadway Market, I'd never heard of them before but later found out they are stocked in Selfridges and have quite the celebrity following. A brilliant find, the two cupcakes I tried were divine. Their flavours range from classic to unusual, I tried salted caramel, matcha green tea and carrot (seriously the best carrot cake I have ever had). If I lived in East London I'd go get some every week but then I'd be the size of a house!

shadab alam
shadab alam

red velwet cup cake was very hummmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyy

Maria
Maria

Sweet Tooth make delicious cakes and cupcakes to order and deliver, if you cant catch them at one of their pop up market places! www.indulgemysweettooth.com

felicity
felicity

I highly recommend the shop 'Ms Cupcake' in Brixton. They sell the most delicious vegan cakes- but you can't even tell they're vegan! really lovely, beautifully presenting, shop is like a delightful 50s style shop/diner. they have a stall in greenwhich market too.

Penny
Penny

ive just discovered maria louie on Northcote road, so unusual and yummy!

Jenny
Jenny

Rosie's cakery She dose not have a shop, but works from a kitchen in south London. I ordered some cupcakes for a friends baby shower and they were truly amazing www.rosiescakery.com/. you really must try them :)

Laila
Laila

The best Cupcakes in London have to be from Crumbs Couture!!!! Delish!

Sask
Sask

Ella's cakes in Covent Garden. How can you pass by without having to go in to buy a cake?? Lovely shop, lovely cakes. It's a real shopping treat. Last time I was there I bought a cake each for friends I was having dinner with later that night - they were so chuffed. We cut them up after dinner for "petit fours"....delicious!!!

W
W

The most amazing cupcakes in London are made by a small boutique bakery company called Victoria's Kitchen. Literally divine! www.victorias-kitchen.com

V
V

Peggy Porschen's!

Helen w
Helen w

I vote Hummingbird, found the best Red Velvet moist with sweet buttercream frosting yummmm!

Lilla
Lilla

Everyone should try the cupcake stall in the new part of Camden market! I think it's called Mimi's Cupcakes. She makes loads of different flavours, my personal faveourite being peanut butter and chocolate :-)

Lost in London
Lost in London

For me the best cupcakes I've tasted so far in London are the one from Ella's Bakehouse in Covent Garden.

Rebecca
Rebecca

My friend Amy is starting up her own cupcakery called YayCakes! She's fantastic, and you can find her on Facebook (cos that's where all the cool kids hang out these days.)

David Blatt
David Blatt

Of course, I meant to type "wedding cake" not "wedding". Sorry for any confusion.

David Blatt
David Blatt

I haven't seen any mention of CAT AND THE CREAM. The company was featured in last years's article and I keep going back to Whole Foods in Camden to buy their cup cakes. I've yet to taste better. I believe it's run by the young girl I met on their stall at Borough Market some time back. I can't talk about ingredients, all I can say is that they taste natural and fantastic. I even got together with a close friend and we ordered her wedding through them. That's one of their strengths, cakes "made to measure".

Little miss cupcake
Little miss cupcake

Sweet Couture have the best cupcakes I've tasted in London!!!! I had an amazing carrot and red velvet the other day from their boutique which is the CUTEST little shop i've seen.

holly
holly

The best cupcakes ever are made at home in an aga with organic and locally sourced ingredients in a beautiful buckinghamshire village.....see website: www.scrummyyummycupcakes.com .........delicious, scrummy cakes I have ever bought!! :)